From Mudbank to Paradise

San Diego’s Shelter Island has an interesting history.  Early nautical charts from the last century designated this area as a mud bank. During World War II there was a lot of dredging in San Diego Bay to accommodate all the navy traffic and this is where they dumped all the spoil. By the 1960s it was being touted as a “man-made wonderland of sub-tropical splendor.”  Advertisements

Seaport Village

Kongo visited Seaport Village in San Diego last evening.  Frankly, this over hyped tourist trap has few redeeming qualities unless you’re looking for T-shirt shops, kite stores, kiosks with saccharine bumper stickers and things that stick to refrigerators, and over-priced art with a vaguely nautical theme.  The one thing it does have is some spectacular views of San Diego Bay and some great opportunities to practice nighttime photography.  So Kongo paid the outrageous ransom to park, land lugged about his tripod and camera kit to chase the lights.  Here are a few of his favorites.

Seals!

  San Diego is home to the Navy’s Seal Team SIX as well as the training facility for sailors hoping to join this elite force.  The two small craft in the first picture are called RHIBs which stands for Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat and are rigged to covertly transport Navy Seals.  These two boats were part of a flotilla of about a dozen boats that were returning to their base at the south end of Coronado after training in the ocean.  The SH-60 Skyhawk helicopter, hovering over the boats as they raced across San Diego Bay, was used to pull…

South Bay Salt Marshes

At the southern end of San Diego Bay are a series of salt marshes and mud flats that are favorite spots for local and migrating sea birds.  On the Chula Vista side of the bay there is also a nature center that focuses on the environment, common marine species to the bay, and sea birds.  On the Coronado side of the bay there are pull outs along the Silver Strand where you can pull over and watch the birds.

Waterfront Walk and Free Parking Spaces

Kongo checks out HMS Surprise on the San Diego waterfront. The exact replica of the 18th-century British frigate Rose, the frigate was constructed to be the set for the movie Master and Commander. It is now part of the San Diego Maritime Museum.

Cheap and Fun Things To Do In San Diego

Kongo’s home town, San Diego, is a major, year round tourist attraction many reasons.  First, there’s the weather which is pretty much recognized as the most perfect in the country.  On the day after Christmas, for example, it was 75 degrees with a crystal clear sky and low humidity.  While the nights are cool the days this time of year are spectacular.